The Century field hockey team didn't have many chances to score in Saturday's Class 2A final at Washington College. With a brick wall for a defense, however, the Carroll County team didn't need many.
The No. 13 Knights got first-half goals from Mandi Trostle and Sami Bialozynski, then survived 19 penalty corners to make them stand up in a 2-0 win over No. 11 Hereford.
“We capitalized in the right moments, for sure,” Century coach Terry Duryea said. “At the beginning of the season we struggled to score, and [the ball] kept going out of bounds or over the end line. I kept telling them, ‘During some games, we're not going to have all of these opportunities to miss.’ They stepped up tonight and got those opportunities in the goal.”
The win gave Century (14-4) its first-ever state title in its fourth trip to the finals since 2007. Hereford (12-5-1) now has lost in the finals two years in a row.
This time, it wasn't for a lack of opportunities.
“We were probably our worst enemy,” Hereford coach Tammy Mundie said. “They certainly packed it in back there and had some great defensive saves. Even though we got up there, we couldn't seem to find a way to get around them for some reason. Then, the times that we did, we weren't in position to finish the play.”
That was largely because of Harmon and fellow defenders Madi Hall and Kassie Kavoukas, who time and again stood their ground against the Bulls' charges at the cage. Goalie Elena Czyryca also stepped up with nine saves.
“We work really well together on defense, and we wouldn't have been able to do it without our goalie,” Harmon said. “[It was] a lot of pressure. They were a good team, but we played our best and deserved to win.”
The Knights took the lead 5:45 into the game when sophomore Katie Armstrong played the ball in, then sent it to midfielder Marissa Donoghue, who redirected it to teammate Trostle in front.
They then made it 2-0 just over five minutes before halftime, when senior Bialozynski picked up a loose ball in front, turned and fired it in for the score.